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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

twd: bread pudding




Would you believe that I've never baked nor eaten bread pudding before? My friend S has waxed poetic about this dish, and I often wondered, as I did about rice pudding, what the big deal was.

The big deal, historically, is about being resourceful. And frugal. Stale bits of bread could be salvaged with liquid, and turned into a sweet treat with a little extra love and care. Think about how magical bread pudding would be when the pantries were nearly empty. When layer cakes and goodie-studded cookies were a rare occurrence. (There are some interesting stories and quotes about all manners of pudding on this website).

And so, instead of throwing up my hands in frustration at my town, in which eggy, buttery breads like Challah and Brioche are non-existent outside of home kitchens, I was resourceful. I remembered the slightly stale loaf of Zingerman's farm bread stuck in my freezer. While it's not a delicate, rich bread--it's tangy and earthy--it fits the original spirit of this dessert. Combined with some delicious chocolate--a little Ghiradelli 100% and Scharffen Berger 62%--from my chocolate drawer, and a handful of Michigan dried cherries, this could be good. Lacking cream and only having skim milk on hand, I worried that the custard would be too thin, but I was being frugal. And resourceful. The custard *was* thin before baking, but it thickened nicely in the oven.

Thank you, Lauren, of Upper East Side Chronicle, for choosing this recipe that I likely never would've made otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed putting my resourcefulness to the test, and realizing that dessert can be a simple matter of transforming old scraps into something delicious.

Please check out my TWD blogging friends for more tales of bread pudding.

10 comments:

  1. I've never had bread pudding either but from how you describe, maybe I should try it myself...could be right up my ally.

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  2. I ended up using donuts.

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  3. I like your "take" on this. A little more friendly to the arteries, too! Very resourceful of you to use the 100%. I use nonfat milk in custards all the time; I prefer to think it adds delicacy. Yup, that's my story. You might enjoy a rum raisin bread pudding some time.
    Nancy

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  4. It's great that you were resourceful with this recipe! It's good to know that it turned out well with skim milk too.

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  5. I love that you kept it in the spirit of the dish and used what you had on hand. Very cool!!

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  6. I'm glad the bread pudding was a success for you. Good job on being resourceful!

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  7. This was my first time baking and eating bread pudding too! I thought it was delicious!! Great job.

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  8. I love how you stayed true to the "roots" of this recipe. I am much more likely to make this again with some stale bread that would otherwise get tossed. It looks delicious, and I bet the 100% chocolate added some real richness to it. Glad you enjoyed this - it looks great!

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  9. I think bread pudding is the ultimate dessert to use old scraps to make something new! Glad you liked it!

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  10. With skim milk? Wow, what a great way to lighten it up while staying true to the roots of the dish! It looks delicious, too!

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